The choice of a synthetic reed, the essential difference

The makers of all of them have been impressed by the market and the possible success that lies therein, and not the actual function of the reed, even its raison d’etre.

The proper synthetic reed should make the cane reed totally obsolete, no longer necessary. Because the reed doesn’t need moistening, it can be kept on the mouthpiece The ligature can  keep  the reed on your mouthpiece. It should be  no longer in need of constant adjusting . You the player, will and should know when it is time for you to change the reed . Response and pitch will diminish.

In the ideal sense of the synthetic, it will be you the player who makes that judgement . If you will look at all the suggestions from every synthetic reed maker, they are vague when it comes to when to change the reed.

In the case of cane I used to carry at least a half dozen reeds with me whenever I had my clarinet, just in case of almost anything that could deter from my performance.
This should not be necessary any longer. If you still need to have six or eight reeds with you, they should not be synthetic.

The synthetic reed makes obsolescent the use of cane. That is its purpose, its raison d’etre
Now, we are talking about the obvious . This synthetic reed, whichever is your preference, is a permanent assistance to you in your practice and your performance. Why use anything else?

Indeed, if your synthetic satisfies your criteria for sound and response, and pitch, there is no reason to change it.

But one point needs to be made: Depending upon your experience playing the clarinet, you will be in the habit of changing and/or finding fault with your reed. This is important for it is a reversion of your experiences with cane. This is what is meant by the commentary in the last article on synthetics: the mindset  changes slightly.

The choice of a synthetic reed is your choice to make. If the suggestion is made to try all of the particular cuts and strengths, that is part salesmanship.(If the suggestion is made to change your mouthpiece, you are in serious difficulty). Consider the origin of the suggestion.Here is an analogy: Changing your mouthpiece for a synthetic reed is like changing you car when you need gas.

Essentially, if one considers a synthetic, one should consider the most consistent product. If there is some kind of cutting machine in the process to cut the tip of the reed, no matter how accurate the cutter, each willl have a small difference. Even a tiny difference. If you choose a product which is made totally with an injection process, and the process has been refined so that the tip is very thin (a new process), you should have a more consistent product.

All cane, all reeds of the same number, all makes, are slightly different.

The main purpose of the synthetic reed is to alleviate this endless game of russian roulette that is played with all cane reeds. If the habit is taken with synthetic reeds, consider carefully.

I have tried all of the above, and the choice I have made is to play synthetic. I find the injection process, producing a very thin tip to be my preference.

My choice is well known, but yours may be different and yours may work for you as well.

The synthetic is here to stay. When the mindset changes slightly you will be happier.

Stay well, and keep practicing.



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